Mariner Pay 2023

Established NYC ship assist company (some coastwise and in-harbor barge work; wire boat pay may differ).

Masters $650 (and I assume ++ for tenured folks)
Mates $550
ABs $350
OS $250
Engineers (unlicensed to chief) $489-$650

Paid travel for licensed personnel (either actual fuel and tolls or air travel booked through company agent, keep the miles). Benefits kick in at 60 days and the company pays quite a bit to keep premiums very reasonable for employees. Company pays short term disability, ADD, and $200k life insurance. There is a 401k match (varies). 14/14 schedule but flexible.

Hodge-podge of equipment, from “you gotta be kidding” to the absolute nicest boats I’ve ever been on. Nothing unsafe that I’ve seen, and crew comfort is decent even on the older boats.

Currently short deckhands, mates, engineers. It seems to me that paid travel for ratings would make a difference in recruiting.

I enjoy the variety of work, the sort of … well … “wild west” atmosphere, and have had good support from shore side. Notable (positive) difference from my last (Gulf Coast harbor) company (as of next week, $750 masters, $640 mates, $720 CHE, etc.) with respect to the attitude from the office toward crew members.


I think this new G&H contract will be the turd in the punch bowl for the rest of the tight fisted tug companies.

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Im 99% sure I work at the same company as “Txh2oman”. Pay is what he listed, travel, benefits. Honestly a pretty decent group of people both the office and marine side.


Recently saw Tradewinds Towing is hiring with pay under each open position. AB for example is $350 day. I know just last year the AB pay was $250. For what it’s worth, I know someone who has worked there for I believe 2yrs now, and he enjoys it. Good crew he says. He started out as a fresh AB saying that many of the seasoned crew were very helpful with showing him the ways.

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So they are paying airfare for officers living out of driving distance doing 14/14?

Totally agree. Makes all the difference.

I know a couple guys who have worked there. One still does. They’ve all said its a great place to work. Their pay rates have come up a bit because of them hurting for people too. Their only real gripe was their benefits package was pretty expensive.

One thing I have learned over the years is its very hit and miss getting medical thru a small company that won’t break your wallet.


Yes. There is a limit (I believe it is $400 1-way, $600 RT) which requires a management override if exceeded. Hasn’t been a problem so far. Honestly it’s super easy. Make your own arrangements on the provided app a month before or a day before. Whatever airline and airports you prefer. They also pay up to $60/mo car service, which doesn’t cover Uber but it helps.

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2023 Day Rates for a tug company operating in Alaska

Captain $900

Mate $750

Engineer /Deckineer $800 (must be good)

AB $400

OS $250

Some people may get a little more or a little less.

Benefits are basic.

Travel paid. Day rate paid while traveling.

Hitches 60-90 days. Captains and Engineers frequently have to work over.

5 man crew.

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@tugsailor Is the mate doing everything the captain does?

Why don’t we post the company names? Send me the info and I’ll post it and then nobody can get caught. I don’t work for any of them.


No, not generally. It’s PWN style, not New York style.

The mate stands a navigational watch outside, and inside to the extent of his local knowledge and ability. The mate leads the crew on deck: making and breaking, cargo handling, lashing etc.

The mate may run the boat while the Captain pilots the barge and gives commands, or the mate may call distances and angles of approach while the captain runs the boat.

Departures and arrivals are pretty much of an all hands on deck operation.

Some mates are fully capable of doing anything that the captain does, or more, some are just warm bodies with a license, most are somewhere in between.

Some companies pay all mates the same. Some companies pay according to perceived ability and experience. Longevity may be a factor. At some smaller companies, everyone has their own deal, based upon negotiating ability and needs at the time.

Of course, there can be jobs where the mate has to do everything the captain does.


With all that being said, 750 a day for a mate is definately on the higher end for a wire boat mate. Most companies are still in the higher 500s low 600s for a mate.

They certainly will try to hire less experienced guys closer to $600, but nobody with a lot of experience and local knowledge is going to do it for less than $700.

After the last couple of years, crew seeking fatigue is wearing the office staff down. They are willing to pay more to spend less time searching for crew. This is especially true at smaller companies where there is no HR department and everyone wears other hats.

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What are Bristol Bay Salmon tenders paying captains (license preferred but not required) in 2023?

$600? More?

How about mariners on OSV out there? Anyone care to post pay scales of which they have personal knowledge? If you want to remain anonymous you can post them to @New3M and he will post them.

(I remember prior to 2015 the only companies that I found who posted their pay scales in detail on their websites were Coastal Transportation and Edison Chouest. Then, when oil went bust in 2015 ECO removed theirs. I don’t know why companies don’t routinely post payscales. Saves a lot of time and effort on all sides.)


I assume the deckhands are ABs?

I began as a probationary deckhand with ACBL, in early March. Orientation was two weeks of fleet work, then off to a mainline boat for training, which became my home. I had my “book” of things to learn signed off my second trip, I think May. I’m a “D1,” which is full-pay decky. Gross, I earned 33,467.45. Net’s gonna be 26 something. Benefits include life, dental, vision, 401k, and travel days. My leadman said he makes 60 something, idk if that’s gross. That’s river rat pay, at ACBL, which might go for Marquette, Ingram, and TVT as well.


How many days work in that pay period?

We work a 28-28 rotation.

*and we get 5 holiday pays.

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